UK: Winter Plantings Mostly Complete In 'Rough' Conditions

Winter wheat, barley and OSR plantings have been mostly completed in what one agronomist describes as "rough" conditions according to a report in the Farmers' Guardian.

Difficult field conditions lead to slow drilling progress in many areas, the report says. Still, around 90 per cent of the planned winter barley area and 85 per cent of winter wheat is now in the ground, according to ADAS.

“Some 90 per cent of what we had hoped to get in is now in, but 5 to 6 per cent of the land left to drill will be left fallow as it’s just too heavy and wet. We can’t see how to make money out of it at the current input prices,” said North Yorkshire agronomist, Patrick Stephenson.

OSR planting has fared less well, with many fields looking “awful” said Mr Stephenson. “We only got in 60 to 70 per cent of what we hoped to get drilled and of those crops that are in, not all will make it through the winter.

“The slugs, rabbits and pigeons will take their toll on what is already a small crop. If it is a hard winter, many oilseed rape fields just won’t make it,” he concludes.